One hot tomato festival

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Last Sunday, the sold-out second annual Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival—a fund raising event for Georgia Organics hosted by JCT Kitchen and its top toque, Ford Fry—saw many of brightest culinary talents from Atlanta and nearby towns team up with some of the region’s top tomato farmers to produce an afternoon of creative tomato-inspired dishes and cocktails.
 
The event brought out an overflow crowd of food lovers, who in spite of the sweltering heat, partied to the retro sounds of the Austin, Texas band The Spazmatics while noshing on treats like Ford Fry’s Ford Fry’s tomato jelly donut with bacon fat mayo, which won the award for Most Creative dish, or sipping the mescal-fueled La Mancha cocktail from Paul Calvert of The Sound Table, which won Best Tasting Drink.

Handing out awards from the judges’ panel were Andrew Knowlton, restaurant editor at Bon Appetit (also a native Atlantan and a devoted Falcons fan), Kate Krader, restaurant editor at Food & Wine magazine, and local luminary Carolyn O’Neil, the noted authority on healthy eating. Food & Wine’s blog, Mouthing Off, has the full list of award-winning food and drink creations from the event.

Hugh Acheson, participant and owner of the highly anticipated Empire State South (scheduled to launch August 30) best summed up the affair: “I thought it was great. They need a bigger venue though, [t]his tomato thing is getting huge!”

(Photo of Gerry Klaskala by Michael Wall, courtesy of Melissa Libby & Associates)

NEWS AND NOTES:

Miller Union, H&F Bottle Company (scheduled to open late September), Farm Burger and Honey Pig were all highlighted in Where To Go Next: Southern Cooking in Food & Wine’s September issue.

Creative Loafing first reported that the Kroger in the Edgewood Retail District has Atlanta’s first outpost of Kroger’s new in store initiative featuring New York’s famed cheesemonger, Murray’s.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle ran a story about three pita sandwich companies that are planning to enter and expand into the Atlanta market this year.

Alpharetta. The AJC is reporting that the first Georgia location of Sarku Japan, a Japanese fast food concept, has opened at 5304 Windward Parkway.

Decatur. Decatur Metro is reporting that The Square Pub, an American style pub with southwestern influences, is slated to open at 115 Sycamore Street soon.

Downtown. Thrillist reports that Mingles Martini Bar & Grill—featuring lunch, dinner and live music—has opened at 182 Courtland Street.

Midtown. Foodie Buddha reports that 5th Street Cafe has opened. Chef Ian Winslade, who first came to prominence at BluePointe, runs the kitchen.

Roswell. North of New Orleans, featuring “an eclectic mix of New Orleans food and fun” has opened at 655 Atlanta Street.

West Atlanta. Thrillist is reporting that Hottie Hawg’s Smokin’ BBQ—a barbeque catering operation—has launched a brick and mortar operation at 2061 Main Street near Bolton Road.
 
Westside. What Now Atlanta notes that a Yoforia store is slated to open in the White Provisions development, possibly by September.

Question of the Week: What downtown hotel restaurant has recently changed its name and management?

PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW—What type of food cart is outside of Midtown night spot Opera on the weekends?—is a gyro stand that also serves pizza, reported on by Foodie Buddha. (Commenter Steve named that one right away.)

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